TechCrunch reports that Facebook wiped messages that CEO Mark Zuckerberg sent to former employees, as well as people outside the company, from those recipients’ inboxes. The company cited ‘corporate security’ as its reasoning for the move, but it’s never publicly disclosed that it cleared Zuckerberg’s messages out of those conversations. In a statement which mentions the Sony Pictures hack that saw the film production company’s unreleased movies and confidential documents exposed, it explained: After Sony Pictures’ emails were hacked in 2014 we made a number of changes to protect our executives’ communications. These included limiting the retention period for Mark’s…
Apple this week changed its official corporate address to One Apple Park Way, continuing the lengthy process of moving an entire workforce from One Infinite Loop to the new Apple Park campus built down the road. AppleInsider – Frontpage News
The US Senate asked Apple various questions about the recently discovered iPhone slowdown practice. The iPhone maker issued a response on February 2nd, which was made public on Tuesday. In it, Apple explains the whole iPhone battery mess, providing a timeline of events, existing fixes as well as other mitigations for the future.
Apple’s explanation proves that the worst thing about the iPhone slowdown is that Apple lied about having informed users of what was about to happen once iOS 10.2.1 was released last year.
The first time Apple acknowledged that it hasn’t informed its customers properly back in January 2017 was a few weeks ago. “When we did put [the software update] out, we did say what it was, but I don’t think a lot of people were paying attention,” Apple’s Tim Cook said in an interview with ABC News. “And maybe we should have been clearer, as well.”
The letter to Congress makes that sort of misinformation even clearer.
First of all, Apple released the iOS 10.2.1 update in January 2017, a month before it actually tried to tell us what the update did.
“We first delivered this power management feature to iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone SE as part of iOS 10.2.1, in January 2017,” Apple explains.
Then, in February 2017, it “told” users about the slowdown.
“Once we verified that the feature was effective in avoiding unexpected shutdowns, we updated the iOS 10.2.1 ReadMe notes in February, 2017. Specifically, the iOS 10.2.1 ReadMe notes said that this update ‘also improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone,” Apple said.
I’m sorry, Apple, but telling users in an updated change log, a month after the update, that the update “also improves power management during peak workloads to avoid unexpected shutdowns on iPhone” will not make me realize that the phone will be slowed down in certain cases.
Don’t get me wrong, I do understand why Apple had to revert to this fix. I happen to have been an iPhone 6s user right until the iPhone X rolled out, but I never noticed the slowdowns. Nor did I experience annoying iPhone shutdowns before the iOS 10.2.1 rolled out, although it may have shut down a few times overnight from what I can recall. I did replace the battery of the iPhone 6s long before the iPhone slowdown scandal was unearthed, as I was preparing it for a new life with a family member. Finally, I’m also a non-believer in the theory that Apple intentionally slows down iPhones to sell newer models.
But telling iPhone users that you warned us about what was going to go down, is a pretty huge “alternative fact,” Apple. That has been my main complaint all along. I wish I knew in advanced that iOS is clever enough to slow down the iPhone so that it doesn’t die unexpectedly. I wish I had the option of turning the feature down, just like it’ll happen from now onward.
Republican Senator John Thune, who penned the initial letter to Apple, also acknowledged in a statement that Apple’s disclosures of the update “came up short.”
“I appreciate Apple’s response to my inquiry and the company’s ongoing discussions with the committee,” Thune said, according to Business Insider. “In those conversations, Apple has acknowledged that its initial disclosures came up short.”
“Apple has also promised the committee some follow-up information, including an answer about additional steps it may take to address customers who purchased a new battery at full price,” he added.
If you think that the FCC is basically controlled by the interests of big ISP-type businesses, you're not alone. Even FCC members feel that Ajit Pai's current gutting of net neutrality is a bad idea. Now even the mayor of San Jose has taken a stand…. Engadget RSS Feed
Sonos and Bose speakers could enable hackers to identify access points via which they might infiltrate companies to steal information, says Trend Micro.
Security researchers have warned that internet-connected smart speakers could expose valuable information about corporate network access points to hackers.
In a recent blog post, Trend Micro senior threat researcher Stephen Hilt warns that hackers could use IoT search website Shodan to find internet-facing smart speakers, such as ones from Sonos and Bose, that could act as useful gateways to corporate information. In his research, Hilt discovered around 4,000 to 5,000 exposed Sonos speakers as well as hundreds of Bose speakers.
“The first glaring finding was access to email addresses that are linked to music streaming services synced with the device. Another was access to a list of devices as well as shared folders that were on the same network as the test device”, he writes.
“We also got BSSID information [a type of wireless access point address] that, paired with an existing API that queries specific BSSIDs, gave us the approximate location of access points used by the test unit. And lastly, we were able to see the device’s activities, such as current songs being played, control the device remotely, as well as play music through URI paths.”
This doesn’t just meant that hackers could take control of smart speakers, but also that they could access data on devices sharing the same network as speakers. And that’s a very worrying prospect for businesses that have these speakers dotted around offices, warehouses and factories.
“In a workplace scenario, an exposed device which identifies and lists down other IoT devices connected to the same network can give an attacker plenty of information to work on,” Hilt writes. “Bad actors could find machines such as printers with existing vulnerabilities and use that to gather further information or as an entry point.”
In a domestic setting, Hilt goes on to warn, hackers might keep an eye on wireless access points (WAPs) the device tries to access, in order to find a user and discover when they are out of their home in order to carry out a robbery. Hackers could also send tailor-fit emails to accounts tied to the music streaming applications. This time, the email could contain a fake message from the manufacturer along with a link that downloads malware instead of a software update.
“While IoT devices are connected to the internet, they should never be exposed. In the case of the test device, manufacturers should make sure that ports connecting to the devices cannot be accessed directly from the internet. Manufacturers should also secure data that’s being stored or compiled by these IoT devices and conduct security audits – including regularly reading public forums discussing their products,” said Hilt.
He added that consumers and enterprise IT administrators should not rely entirely on manufacturers to do all the heavy lifting. “Users should check their routers for rules that might provide outside access to devices and folders on the network. If access is needed, it should be limited to as few devices as possible. They should enable password protection on all devices if possible and replace default passwords immediately with stronger ones.” said Hilt.
On the 14th of December 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States voted to repeal net neutrality, the Obama-era regulations set to protect consumers from undue restrictions from internet service providers (ISPs). With net neutrality, ISPs recognized broadband as a type of utility, where internet data and all web traffic were treated equally. The 3-2 vote limits the authority of the FCC to regulate ISPS who, in turn, now have more leeway when it comes to controlling how people use the internet.
While it may look like the fight for internet freedom has been lost, that’s not what a coalition of attorney generals from a number of U.S. states think. On the same day the FCC voted against net neutrality, these states pledged to stop the FCC from rolling back net neutrality. One of the people leading the charge is Eric T. Schneiderman, Attorney General for the state of New York. He believes that American society has a lot to lose without a free and open internet, which is why he is suing to prevent what he calls the “illegal rollback of net neutrality.”
“The internet is the public square of the 21st century,” Schneiderman said in an exclusive interview with Futurism. “But without net neutrality, it will become a private square — with massive corporations deciding what people and ideas get in. Without net neutrality, internet service providers will be able to censor content.”
In the simplest of terms, the repeal of net neutrality means that ISPs “get to decide which websites you have access to — and which you don’t. They’ll be able to intentionally slow down your internet service — and charge you more just to get back up to speed,” Schneiderman added. “Even if [ISPs] promise not to do those things right now, there will be no rule against them changing those promises down the road.”
The coalition of attorney generals now includes Massachusetts, Illinois, Oregon, and Iowa. Meanwhile, others in California and Washington have pledged to prevent internet providers, such as AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and Charter, from restricting internet access by slowing down web traffic or by prioritizing their own content and media. In Connecticut, lawmakers plan to take on the FCC in court.
A Poorly-Made Decision
As far as Schneiderman and his fellow attorney generals are concerned, the FCC failed to follow rather basic — but necessary — procedure when it came to the decision on net neutrality. Now, they intend to sue the agency over it.
“Under the law, federal agencies — including the FCC — have to have a period of notice and comments,” he told Futurism. “This is an important element of our democracy. The American people have the right to make their opinions known and agencies have to take into account what people think. This is a critical part of the rulemaking process.”
Schneiderman believes the entire process went against the Administrative Procedure Act. “[Y]ou can’t possibly argue that the FCC took people’s comments into account if they didn’t even make the effort to ascertain which comments were real people and which comments were fake comments,” he said.
In that case, the failure isn’t just a procedural one: the entire notice and comments period had been marred by fake comments — which Schneiderman and his colleagues informed the FCC about as early as May 2017. “We discovered millions of fake comments, including many where people’s identities were stolen, some of the names were just made up,” he said. “[The FCC] didn’t care, they refused to respond to us, so we felt we had to go public.”
Schneiderman argued that the FCC’s decision to go ahead with the repeal, despite not having clearly ascertained the public’s true opinion on the matter, sets a dangerous precedent for other federal agencies. “[F]or the FCC to tolerate identity theft — which is a crime in many states, including New York — is really outrageous. This is not the way any federal agency should behave and we’re going to challenge it,” he said.
For the coalition of attorney generals, that concern is as equally pressing as lobbying for the FCC to reverse its decision. The issue of fake comments and identity theft is not likely to become more easily managed, given the extent to which procedures (such as open comment periods) are increasingly conducted online.
“We’re going to challenge [the FCC’s decision] in court, we hope to have this rolled back. But, in the future, they have to address this. I mean, this threatens not just the FCC but other federal agencies. If they can get away with phony comments — some of them have been tracked out of the country, some of them have been tracked back to Russia — they can corrupt all of our rulemaking process and that’s really blow to democracy.”
In the meantime, the NYC attorney general is asking people to keep up the fight for net neutrality. “We’re urging people to stay engaged. Do not let yourself get talked into the idea that this is over now. The fight still goes on,” Schneiderman said. “The blinds cannot be more brightly drawn. Those of us in favor of internet freedom are going to keep fighting for it.”
Pinterest today said it is hiring a new head of corporate and business development, bringing on former Facebooker Gary Johnson as it looks to continue to expand. The hiring comes at a time when Pinterest recently saw its president, Tim Kendall, depart to start his own company. Read More Mobile – TechCrunch
More than 1,000 companies with 1,000+ employees use the co-working space.
Big businesses that lease co-working space at WeWork generated $ 250 million this year in revenue. These companies make up 25 percent of the WeWork’s total $ 1 billion annual revenue as well as 30 percent of new monthly revenue, according to WeWork.
And the number of corporate, or enterprise customers — those with 1,000 or more employees — has doubled from last year to over 1,000.
WeWork said overall monthly sales have grown 250 percent from Jan. 1 to Dec. 1 and have helped the company with record expansion, but it did not provide new monthly sales numbers.
This quarter alone, WeWork will add 36 new locations — including in Toronto, Miami and Seoul — more locations than it opened in all of 2015. Twenty-three locations are opening today for a total of 200 locations globally.
Corporate clients, who rent huge blocks of desks and even whole floors or whole WeWork locations at a time, have also allowed WeWork to open new locations more fully rented than before, WeWork’s chief growth officer Dave Fano told Recode.
“Larger companies have more visibility into their pipeline — they know what they will need and where,” he said. “They’re one of the things enabling our growth.”
Due to the lag time from leasing a building and renovating it to become a WeWork location, most of these new additions were commissioned before SoftBank infused the startup with $ 4.4 billion in cash, Fano said. Thanks to the investment, the company expects the recent level of growth to increase or even accelerate into the first quarter of 2018.